Writing Insights #4: Reading vs. Writing

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Not all readers want to be writers, however, most writers are avid readers. So, how do you combine the two? Let’s talk about that in today’s Writing Insights!

I’ve decided to go with Reading vs. Writing as a topic this week, because it is something I have been struggling with lately. As a book blogger, I don’t just read for fun, but I also feel like it is my duty to read a decent amount of them each month. (Don’t worry, I am not reading just because I have to. I also want to. How couldn’t I!? Reading is the best!) But ever since I started concentrating more and more on my writing again, I found it difficult to combine those two worlds.

The first reason of why it isn’t easy is simply that I love to immerse myself in the world that I am reading about. I bet you like to do the same, but the problem is that as soon as I am all “Uuuuh, I love the villain!” or “Don’t hurt my precious baby!!!”, I don’t waste a single thought on my own characters anymore. Their story just sort of drifts out of my mind and I don’t want that to happen, but apparently I am a very single-minded person and it still does. More often than not it feels impossible to focus on both things and like I have to choose, even when I really don’t want to, because in addition to aforementioned quality, I am also greedy and want all the things at once.

Also, I sometimes feel like I am influenced a lot by what I read, which is a good thing, because it means the writer did their job well. However, I don’t want those influences to immediately show in my writing.

So, what do I do?

  • I always carry a notebook with me just in case, but I’ve dedicated certain days are meant for writing. I won’t even touch a book on those, except if I am in a really, really interesting part or need to finish a chapter for closure-reasons.
  • When I am done with a chapter, I reward myself with some reading time. I don’t even really limit this at all. If I feel like reading an entire book afterwards, that’s what I’ll do. If I just want one chapter then that’s okay too.
  • I am never fighting my mood. Gut feeling is everything and I’ve learned that forcing myself to read OR write never ends well. If all else fails, I’ll just watch a TV show.

How do you balance your reading and your writing? Do you have any tips?

Lastly, I’ve already announced it in my monthly wrap-up, but I’ve uploaded my WIP Arcadia to wattpad. As of right now there is the prologue and two more chapters on there. If you are interested in reading the story, please click here. I would appreciate all and any kind of feedback, emoji response or whatever you can think of! You can always leave a comment, shoot me a mail or send me a DM on Twitter!